Warning: This post contains spoilers from the season 5 finale on The Flash, which aired Tuesday night. Read at your own risk!
In its series premiere, The Flash introduced a newspaper from the year 2024 that featured a headline about the Scarlet Speedster (Grant Gustin) vanishing in a “crisis.” Tuesday night, the superhero drama revealed how that newspaper relates to the Arrowverse’s next crossover, the ominously titled “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
In the season 5 finale of The Flash, Team Flash destroys Cicada’s dagger in the present, which has the unfortunate consequence of freeing Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh), in the future, as the dagger was being used to suppress his powers while he was awaiting his execution. Once he’s freed, he faces off against Barry and Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy), and in the middle of the battle he giddily tells Nora that her efforts to stop her father from disappearing will always fail.
“You can’t save him, Nora, no matter what you do,” he says. “No matter what you try, the Flash will always vanish. That is his legacy.” (This line is a clever nod to DC Comics mythology, because the Flash is usually a casualty whenever the multiverse goes through a crisis.)
Unfortunately, destroying the dagger has another unintended consequence: It leads to the creation of another timeline. Not only is Nora erased from existence as a result, but the date on the aforementioned future newspaper changes from 2024 to 2019. In other words, Barry will disappear in the titular crisis of the forthcoming crossover, which is due later this year.
The fact that the newspaper’s headline refers to the crossover is not surprising because the crossover shares a title with one of DC Comics’ most iconic comic books, Crisis on Infinite Earths. Conceived of and executed by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, this 1985 maxiseries followed DC’s heroes as they fought to save Earth from the destruction of the multiverse. [33-YEAR-OLD SPOILER ALERT:] Unfortunately, Barry Allen/the Flash perished/disappeared in the battle.
Whether or not the Arrowverse’s adaption sticks to the source material in this regard remains to be seen. There’s reason to hope to Gustin’s speedster will make it out of the crisis alive, if only because his show was renewed for a full sixth season.
The Flash wasn’t the only show that used its finale to setup the next crossover, though. In the Arrow finale, the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) recruited Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) to help him save the multiverse and revealed that he would perish in the forthcoming crisis. For more on that, head over here.
The Flash will return in fall 2019.